China’s troubled electric-car maker NIO loses finance chief

A NIO Eve autonomous concept electric car. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

The chief financial officer of troubled Chinese electric-car maker NIO Inc. is leaving the company just as it struggles to ramp up sales and avoid a cash crunch.

Louis Hsieh has resigned as CFO for personal reasons, NIO said Monday in a statement, adding it has started to look for a replacement.

NIO has been hurt by sputtering electric-vehicle demand in China just as the upstart is working to break into the world’s biggest market for battery vehicles. The situation has prompted the company, which is backed by technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., to raise $200 million from founder William Li and a Tencent affiliate, and to plan to spin off some businesses and reduce jobs.

NIO’s U.S.-listed shares fell 2% to $1.48 in New York. They have fallen 85% since peaking in March after an IPO last year, valuing the company at $1.56 billion.

Hsieh started as NIO’s finance chief in 2017 and has also worked for several other U.S.-listed Chinese companies. He has been responsible of NIO’s fundraising.

“I want to thank Louis for his contributions to NIO and wish him all of the best in his future endeavors,” Li said.

NIO is also set to face tougher competition from U.S. rival Tesla Inc., which is preparing to start manufacturing in China. The Californian company is in the process of completing a facility near Shanghai.